A FIERY spectacular which attracts crowds of people from across the country will launch Allendale into the new year.

The village’s traditional tar bar’l festival has been a mainstay for generations, and preparations are well under way for the latest offering.

Crowds are set to flock to the village for an evening of celebration, as flames engulf the air.

The celebration sees an army of men, known as “guisers”, who according to tradition must be from the Allendale parish, parade around the Market Square carrying flaming barrels of fire on their heads.

At 11.30pm, the torches are lit and the barrels ignited. Each guiser lifts the flaming barrels up on to the top of their heads and falls in behind the band.

At midnight, they arrive at the pre-built bonfire in the town centre. The barrels are then used to ignite this ceremonial bonfire, as everyone shouts: “Be damned to he who throws last”.

The ceremony has been celebrated for at least 160 years, although some believe it has its roots in the Middle Ages.